Written by Lori Thiessen
As I battle with my own chronic depression, I’m always interested in finding out new ways of dealing with it. There are some who claim that coffee can help depression and other (a great many others) who say that coffee increases your depression.
I’ve been trying to find some bona fide medical source to give me the low-down on this issue and so far all I’ve come up with are a lot of contradictory non-medical opinions. The closest article I came to was one at bodyandfitness.com which has a number of medical studies cited in it.
The writer reported that while depression can be a result of caffeine addiction, coffee drinkers are 58-66 per cent LESS likely to commit suicide than non-coffee drinkers.
But another study showed that psychiatric patients who were coffee drinkers are more likely to suffer from depression. Frankly, I think that just being labelled as a psychiatric patient and all the social stigma attached to it could probably lead to depression.
So who do I believe? Even the writer of the article seemed to be stumped at these opposing indicators.
My father always believed in moderation. He drank one cup of coffee in the morning with breakfast for as long as I remember. As far as I know, he never suffered from depression or if he did, he hid it pretty well.
It seems to me to be common sense that if you over indulge in anything, you are going to have problems. Coffee does give a quick pick-me-up but drinking a lot of coffee may cause depression.
I’ve read that people who are Scandinavians or people who have Scandinavian ancestry are more likely to suffer from depression than other ethnic groups. And the Scandinavians also love their coffee.
Now, does this mean that the Nordic peoples’ heavy coffee drinking habits have created an endemic depression? Or does the coffee drinking help off-set depression caused by light deprivation from being so far north?
But as far as I know, historically the Inuit people generally do not suffer from depression and they are not noted coffee drinkers. However, as the Inuit people adapt the North American lifestyle and eshew their traditional culture, depression could now be a problem.
Some bright medical/sociological spark will have to figure this one out, not me. For now, I’ll stick to my dad’s rule of one cup of coffee in the morning. People with depression often have a difficult time in the morning so that one jolt of caffeine might be enough to at least get the ball rolling. But no more and don’t add any sugar in it because excess sugar consumption has also been linked to depression.
So order me one medium americano – no milk, no sugar and I will give you a big smile and say “Thank you. You made my day begin!”
Q: What are your thoughts on caffeine and depression?
Until Next Time,
May Your Coffee Always Be Freshly Brewed!